Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Awesome Kong Reflects On Her AEW Debut, The Crowd’s ‘Insane’ Response

Awesome Kong looks back on how her debut with All Elite Wrestling came about.

Kong was one of TNA’s top stars in the mid-2000s; she held the Knockouts Championship twice, and she also was the inaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion alongside Hamada. Kong later had a brief run with WWE and returned to TNA, and she later landed in AEW in 2019. She debuted as a surprise entrant in the women’s triple threat match at the company’s inaugural Double or Nothing pay-per-view.

Speaking at a live show for Inside The Ropes, Kong reflected on her AEW debut. First, she noted that she happened to be in Chicago at the same time as the All In event, which was a precursor to AEW, and she was impressed by it. For this reason, she accepted Brandi Rhodes’ pitch to come to the company in its early days.

“So after their first All In in Chicago, which I knew nothing about because I hadn’t been plugged into wrestling. I just happened to be in Chicago, doing the Starrcast thing, it was the first wrestling-related event I had been to in years. It was a two or three day event, and on the last day, there was hardly anybody in the hotel. Nobody’s coming past anybody’s tables. I’m like, well where is everybody? They’re like, ‘They’re all that wrestling show?’ I’m like, there’s a wrestling show? I should get my 8x10s and go to this wrestling show and get a table and sell. This is how wrestlers think.

““I find out, they tell me the story about Cody and the Young Bucks, I’m like, ‘That’s awesome. I’m so happy.’ So when Brandi calls and says, ‘We’re doing it again and we’re gonna be doing it some more,’ I’m like, ‘Well, I wanna do it too.’ That’s basically how that came about. She called me about six-seven months after their show in Chicago, I’m like, ‘Yes because that looked fun, and that looked like y’all sticking it to a bunch of people.’ [laughs] I want to stick it to people too.”

Kong then described how she was blown away by the response she received at AEW Double or Nothing, as she was happy to see that people still remembered her.

“I didn’t expect the building to shake. The building like shook, the building did a shimmy, y’all,” Kong said. “It was insane, but it was like wow, people remember me. Yay, they remember I used to do this. Because there are kids nowadays that are alive that weren’t alive when I was with WWE and TNA and stuff. So I didn’t know what to expect, if parents were gonna bend down and explain it to them or whatever. But just to hear that roar, it was very hard to stay in the Kong psyche at that moment.”

During her time with AEW, Kong was briefly featured alongside Brandi as a member of the Nightmare Collective. AEW opted not to renew her contract in June 2021; prior to the decision, she hadn’t appeared on AEW programming since February 2020.

Kong was inducted into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2021.

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